The Between Level II Holster Holders
A Level 2 holsters is an enhanced active retention holster designed for use with a semi-automatic or full-automatic handgun. It has similar friction properties as a full-scale level one holster. But it also has additional retention such as a canteen or light. This caps the butt of the gun, securing it in an upright position while still allowing easy access to the firearm.
There are basically two types of Level 2 holsters: passive retention and auto-lock. A passive retention Level 2 holster does not include any type of built-in locking mechanism to retain the gun. It is designed to easily be inserted and removed without activating the slide. However, once the gun is taken out, the slide must be manually locked to prevent it from being opened during a draw.
Auto-lock Level 2 holsters on the other hand contain some type of lock that needs to be manually activated prior to drawing the gun. These are made with complex grooves that allow only a specific amount of force to engage the latch so that the gun cannot be opened accidentally. The combination of a complex lock and complex design makes auto-lock level 2 holsters very durable and reliable, even under extreme conditions. However, they are usually sold separately.
Both a Level 1 and level 2 holster differ primarily according to how the holster is used. With a level 2 retention holster, the action required to place the holster in the desired location is more complex than with a level 1 retention holster. Level 1 retention holsters allow the user to place the holster in a variety of positions, but they lack an added measure of security for when the gun is not immediately accessible. Because of this, a user may want to invest in both a level 1 retention holster and a level 2 active retention holster to provide the best combination of security and ease-of-use. Active retention holsters differ slightly from level 1 retention holsters because they have an added measure of safety, in the form of a metal clip that secures the gun in place, even when the gun is in an extremely visible location.
For some shooters, the amount of visual control afforded them by their gun holster can be a hindrance. Some may wish to keep their handgun in a vertical position, which requires a strong retention device. This can be overcome with the use of a lateral retention mount, which is installed along one's leg during a tanning session. The lateral mount is usually adjustable, allowing a shooter to adjust the holster for any given position.
Active Retention holsters, while possessing a number of advantages over other types, suffer from two major drawbacks. First, since it is physically installed on the leg, it cannot be carried in a typical carry position like a traditional pocket holster or shoulder holster would be able to. While this drawback can be overcome with the use of additional active retention accessories, such as special mounts or a gun belt, many shooters prefer the physical presence of the holster. In addition, with the use of multiple retention clips, an active holster user is forced to choose between convenience and security. Since the gun must be kept in a vertical position to function, multiple clips often present a challenge to a shooter who must choose between being comfortable with their choice of active holster (which usually means they must select a single-clipside design) or being confident that they will be able to maintain their chosen level of safety while also having a number of high quality clips available for rapid deployment.
With all of these choices, it is important for a newer or more inexperienced shooter to remember that only through practice and a strict adherence to protocol will they ever be truly safe. Even after training has fully matured, a firearm should never be accessed by any user until the proper holster is chosen. The primary reason behind this recommendation is the inherent risk of accidental firing; without proper gun storage, a firearm can easily be a lethal device. For this reason, even experienced shooters should always carry a firearm in either a paddle holsters or a Level II holster so that proper safety measures can always be applied.
If you have already purchased your firearm, but still require a handgun holster, then you should consider either purchasing a Level I or Level II holster. The difference in these two types of holsters is simply the amount of physical work required to put them on and remove them from the firearm. Level I holsters are designed to be worn on their own, which means that a gun owner only needs to remove the retention ring when they wish to use the firearm. This is a great solution for many people who find themselves carrying their handgun everywhere they go. However, since the ring on a level one holster must be removed when the gun is not in use, many shooters find themselves putting it on and removing it multiple times during the day; this can quickly become problematic.